Transgender Activists Are Seeking to Undermine Parental Rights
Scott Yenor /
Radical feminists aspire to revolutionize society in three ways.
First, they seek to eliminate the different ways boys and girls are socialized, so that they will come to have very similar characters and temperaments.
Second, they seek to cultivate financial and emotional independence of women and children from the family.
Third, they hope to erase sexual taboos, embracing new ways for individuals to achieve sexual satisfaction outside of monogamous, procreative marriage.
>>> Read Scott Yenor’s recent report, which lays out these arguments in detail.
Winning public sanction for same-sex marriage was the last great feminist victory. Same-sex marriage undermined sex roles within marriage. It put children ever more outside the purpose of marriage. It reinforced the idea that all means of sexual satisfaction are equal.
Where will the radical feminist revolution roll to next?
The new field for the rolling revolution with the greatest possibilities is transgender rights, especially as applied to children.
Despite the accomplishments of radical feminism, the state has protected parents’ rights to raise their children. Children, after all, seem rightly under the charge of their parents, who provide personalized care for their development.
Parental rights are related to the age of consent, which states protect in order for children to give time and space to become mature, independent adults. Americans do not want their children overly sexualized, and they respect the right of parents to educate their children.
Transgender rights activists are seeking to abridge parental rights by elevating the independent choices of young children. Respecting the sexual and gender “choices” of ever-younger children erodes parental rights and compromises the integrity of the family as an independent unit.
This can be seen in the Canadian province of Ontario, which passed a law allowing state agencies to prevent families that will not affirm a child’s chosen “gender identity” from adopting or providing foster care to children.
Children in Ontario can now make life-altering decisions before the age of consent against their parents’ wishes.
But the principle in Ontario’s law has an even wider reach.
The bill’s chief advocate thinks that it is “child abuse” to deny a child’s chosen gender identity. If this principle guides the law, Canada would come to deny what all political communities have traditionally acknowledged: that birth parents direct the education of their children.
This is already playing out in Norway, where a new law allows the state to decide about gender reassignment for children as young as 6 years old when both parents cannot agree on the child’s gender.
American states such as Minnesota are now promoting the transgender ideology in elementary schools against the wishes of parents. They have made “gender identity” toolkits available to kindergarten teachers, so that 5-year-olds can learn to explore their identities.
These laws, and others like them, aim to make children independent of their parents and to bless their sexual exploration even at a young age. They undermine the foundation of educating children toward marriage and family life.
Under both of these scenarios, the line between the family and state comes to be drawn and redrawn by the state.
Once the state takes on this role, all civil society, including churches and private businesses, are vulnerable to its intrusions. The family will find it harder to function when its integrity is compromised.
Around half of American women of childbearing age do not have children, so parental rights will not in the future be respected because majorities of Americans are actually parents.
Those interested in securing parental rights must see these rights protected in law and promoted in public opinion, and more and more must come to see that the public interest is promoted through respecting parental rights even though they are not parents.
A respect for parental rights and childhood innocence are bulwarks against the advance of transgender ideology.